Let's be honest. Going ANYWHERE with kids requires a plan. The unknowns of public places will have you bringing a suitcase of "what if" items. I get it! So I dug into all the details of the Minnesota State Fair and I'm going to help you out, mom to mom.

Here it is. How to survive the Minnesota State Fair with kids! The essential areas, kid-friendly booths and the discount days!

THE ESSENTIALS!

  • Baby Changing Stations: These are available in nearly every bathroom on the fairgrounds. MOM TIP: the West End Market has great, newer restrooms that are very clean and have changing tables!
  • Coolers, Bags, & Outside Food/Drinks: While your bags will be subject to search at the gate, you can absolutely bring your own cooler. Keep your bottles or baby food cold and eliminate the need to purchase EVERYTHING.
  • Nursing Facilities: There are quite a few nursing areas available. The Care & Assitance area is located on West Dan Patch Avenue south of West End Market. Private rooms are available on a first come basis and is open 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Here are a few other nursing facilities {see map HERE}:
    • Health Fair 11, located on the west side of Cooper Street between Dan Patch and Judson avenues
    • myTalk 107.1, located on the west side of Underwood Street between Lee and Randall avenues
    • TPT | Twin Cities PBS, located on the east side of Cosgrove street on the street level of the 4-H Building
  • Stroller/Wagon Rentals: IDIf you don't want to lug along your own stroller or wagon you can rent one. Now these are on a first come, first served basis but you can get one at the HomeTown Mobility booth. Wagons are $15 a day while strollers are $12 (single) and $15 (double). Open 7am-11pm daily.
  • Sunscreen: We have all failed on this at some point. If you forgot sunscreen you can get some FREE! Head to the nearest Information Booth and grab some 30 SPF Vanicream sunscreen for FREE!
  • Water: Hot days require hydration. Make sure to bring sippy cups and water bottes. These can be refilled at FREE water stations located in the Coliseum, the Eco Experience booth, and restrooms south of Kidway on Cooper Street.  These commercial exhibitors also offer water for fair guests:
    • Culligan Water
    • KARE 11 TV
    • KSTP TV

KID FRIENDLY BOOTHS

  • Baldwin Park & Family Fair: This is home to Alphabet Forest, Math on A Stick, & tons of other family-friendly shopping, free entertainment, and concessions.
  • CHS Miracle of Birth Center: Every day has a miracle! Here you can watch cows, pigs and so much more greet their new babies! Open 9:00am-9:00pm daily.
  • Equimania: Horse lovers, this one is for you! They can explore everything about behavior, anatomy, and nutrition from experts plus hands-on activities for the kids.
  • Giant Sing Along: Who doesn't love to jam out. Just grab a giant microphone and sing your heart out with your whole family! This is your camera opportunity for sure! Find it across from the Pet Center.
  • Great Big Sandbox: This is exactly as fun as it sounds! Your kids can build a sand castle, dig a trench and fill their buckets till their heart's content. Located near the Family Fair Stage at Baldwin Park.
  • Little Farm Hands: My littles always loved this! They can be their own farmer, picking produce and see what "farm to table" really means! They can put on a cute little apron and get a treat at the end. Kids ages 3-10 will love riding the tiny tractors, milking a cow, and planting crops! Open 8:00am-7:00pm each day.
  • Moo Booth: Kids will love this because they get to learn about cows and see some fun demonstrations. Open daily at the Cattle Barn.

DISCOUNT DAYS

We all like to save money! Kids are the great multiplier when it comes to spending money so do yourself a favor and get the Blue Ribbon Bargain book. You can pick it up at Cub Foods in Rochester.

THRIFTY THURSDAY (AUG. 23)

$12 for adults (13-64) and $9 for kids (5-12). Deals on merchandise and food for all fair guests including the Mighty Midway and Kidway rides & games.

SENIORS & KIDS DAY (MONDAY, AUG. 27)

Discounted admission prices for seniors and kids at the entrance gates: $9 for seniors (65+) and $9 for kids (5-12). Deals on merchandise, food and Mighty Midway.

READ & RIDE DAY (WEDNESDAY, AUG. 29)

All public library cardholders with valid public library card get discounted admission. $12 for adults (13-64), $9 for seniors (65+) and $9 for kids (5-12).  Deals on merchandise, food and Mighty Midway.

KIDS & LAST CHANCE DAY (MONDAY, SEPT. 3)

Discounted admission price for kids at the entrance gates: $9 for kids (5-12). Deals on merchandise and food for all fair guests. All-day specials offered on Mighty Midway and Kidway rides & games.

Listen Weekdays from 10AM to 12PM on 106.9 KROC or Follow My Health, Beauty and Parenting page on Facebook.